ADHD Cleaning Checklist and 14 Tips to Transform Chaos

Demi Aspey
4 mins read
Dec 20, 2023

It's no secret that ADHD minds are like unpredictable fireworks, lighting up with a thousand ideas at once. 

But this bright burst of energy fizzles out when it comes to mundane tasks like cleaning.

If organising your space feels like preparing for an epic battle, consider these ADHD cleaning hacks and our free ADHD cleaning checklist as your sacred armoury.

We’re here to stock up on the best decluttering strategies and ADHD organisation tips so you can create a cleaner, more serene living space.

Let’s get into it 👉

Why is Cleaning so Difficult for ADHD-ers? 🧹

Decluttering with ADHD feels like climbing Everest in flip-flops.

ADHD brains are wired for the new and exciting, not the dull and disinteresting.

Regular dopamine boosts are needed to keep us focused and motivated. 

Cleaning, by contrast, often feels like a mundane task, lacking the thrill that our brains crave.

ADHD Cleaning Checklist 🧼

Imagine an ADHD cleaning strategy that's less of a chore list and more of a treasure map. 

ADHD Cleaning Checklist Notion
ADHD Cleaning Checklist Notion

That's what we're aiming for here!

This Notion-based ADHD cleaning checklist is your guide through the cleaning jungle, helping you navigate without getting lost in the underbrush of overwhelm.

Save it as a duplicate and tailor it to fit your needs.

Top Tips on How to Clean with ADHD 🫧

#1. Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away

When you’ve got something in your hand, think of it as a hot potato.

Don’t put it down. Put it away!

This handy mantra helps to cut down on clutter and keep your space tidy.

#2. Break Cleaning Down Into Smaller Tasks

Cleaning your entire space at once is like trying to eat a whole cake in one bite. Sounds great in theory (gotta love a bit of cake) but in reality, it’s not doable. 

Break each cleaning mission into smaller, digestible tasks. 

Today, do the dishes; tomorrow, tackle laundry.

Before you know it, you’ll have achieved everything on your list. 

Before and after cleaning ADHD meme
@cleanthatup

#3. Start Small and Add Tasks With Time

Begin with something small, like organising a drawer. 

Once that feels manageable, expand to bigger tasks.

It's like building a cleaning muscle, one rep at a time.

#4. Find a Routine That Works

Experiment with different cleaning times and methods.

You could be a morning cleaner or an after-dinner tidier.

Find your groove and stick to it.

For me spending 15mins each morning tidying up before the day starts works like magic ✨.

#5. Use Alarms and Set Reminders

In the world of ADHD, out of sight can mean out of mind.

Set alarms or reminders to nudge you back into cleaning mode.

#6. Always Use a Timer and the Pomodoro Technique

Try setting a timer for 25 minutes (or even shorter), going full-on cleaning mode, and then taking a 5-minute break.

This is known as the Pomodoro Technique, which helps keep you focused and prevent burnout.

Setting time limits works particularly well for us ADHDers (time blindness and all). 

#7. Keep Related Items Together

Keep all your cleaning supplies in a designated spot: brushes go here, cleaning products go there. 

Having everything you need to clean readily available will make you more likely to do it. 

#8. Don’t Sit Down; Stay on Your Feet

Once you sit down, it's easy to get distracted (hello, doom scrolling on TikTok 👀)

Stay on your feet to keep up your momentum and get those chores boxed off.

adhd cleaning meme sitting down

#10. Use Storage Containers to De-Clutter

Simple containers transform cluttered space into an organised haven.

Plus, they make cleaning up quicker and easier.

Less time cleaning, more time doing things you enjoy. 

#11. Listen to Music, Podcasts, or Audiobooks

Getting stuck into chores is the perfect opportunity to listen to your fave music or audiobook.

Or how about a podcast? We’ve rounded up some of the best ADHD podcasts here.

#12. Partner Up

Cleaning with someone else is waaaaay more fun.

Why not try body doubling with Deepwrk to help keep you motivated? 

#13. Reward Yourself For a Job Well Done

After a cleaning session, treat yourself! You’ve earned it. 

Maybe a tasty snack, an episode of your fave Netflix show, or just some quiet time.

Rewarding hard work gives us that dopamine boost our ADHD brains crave. 

14. Let Go of Shame

Remember, it's okay not to be perfect.

Missed a spot? No big deal. 

The goal is progress, not perfection.

Final Thoughts 🧠

Tackling cleaning with ADHD is about turning an overwhelming task into a series of winnable battles.

It's about finding joy in the process, adapting your cleaning habits to suit your unique ADHD brain, and celebrating the small victories.

With an ADHD cleaning schedule and these helpful tips to tackle your chores, you're not just cleaning your space - you're building a sense of control and accomplishment. 

Be prepared to transform your living space with your newfound cleaning confidence!

FAQs

Do people with ADHD struggle with cleaning?

Yes, usually. 

The challenge often lies in maintaining focus and motivation for tasks perceived as routine or mundane.

How do you clean effectively with ADHD?

By breaking tasks into smaller steps, using timers and reminders, creating enjoyable cleaning rituals, and focusing on gradual progress.

How to create an ADHD-friendly cleaning checklist?

Start with simple, achievable tasks and gradually build up to more complex ones.

Use our template to help you get started and tailor it to fit your needs. 

Customise your cleaning schedule to fit around your life - and don't forget to reward your hard work! 

Where to find more ADHD resources?

For more ADHD life hacks check our articles on how to deal with DOOM piling ADHD edition and our list of 17 ADHD hacks that actually work.

For more tips and tricks on living with ADHD, check out our selection of the best ADHD Podcasts and ADHD books.

In case you want to explore some less understood ADHD concepts, head over to our articles on: ADHD Tax, ADHD Burnout Cycle, ADHD Masking, ADHD Decision Fatigue, RSD, ADHD Intrusive Thoughts.

Find your flow with Deepwrk. An ADHD body doubling platform to get more done solo, not alone!
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Demi Aspey
Demi is the founder of the creative agency, Sonder Script, a culture columnist for House of Coco magazine, a part-time lecturer, and a soon-to-be Doctor in screenwriting. She is a scriptwriter by speciality and a copywriting cultivator by trade. Demi is a mental health advocate and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.